Obsessing Over Finances — When Does it Go Too Far?

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“My wife is undeniably right; I have found a relatively healthy thing (financial independence) to obsess over. I guess it’s better than constantly straightening my fork at Red Robin. Where it probably crosses the line is in the form of my hyper sensitivity to spending, and my overall monitoring of the expenses.”

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Let me just being this post by saying that I’m not a Doctor. If you’ve read any of my previous posts on this blog at all that should be almost as abundantly clear as me making statements such as, “I am not a squirrel,” or “I am not a log cabin.”

So when I talk about things such as my OCD, keep in mind that I’ve only self-diagnosed myself (with the constant “help” of my wife), and am really talking out my ass about the subject in general. It should also be stated that, whether I suffer from a mild form of it or not, I am in no way making light of people dealing with this disorder in any form.

I have some quirks that I very rarely notice, but others pick up on. An example would be that if I sit down at a table at a restaraunt, I straighten the silverware and napkins so that everything is perpendicular and/or at a nice right angle.

If I’m sitting in a meeting and I put my sketchbook on the table, I’ll meticulously adjust it until its bottom edge runs as parallel as possible with the edge of the table.

I tend to obsess over details like this, but at the same time I allow pure and utter chaos to enter my life at other times. As I type this I’m staring at my desk which is cluttered with car keys, vitamin bottles, pens, post-it notes, a hard drive, and for some reason and empty Ziploc bag that has been on my desk for weeks. Not sure what was in it, and equally not sure why I haven’t just thrown it away. I’m 93% positive it was not a human toe. I think I threw that bag out ages ago.

Yet when I find that thing that latches onto that obsessive part of my brain, it’s really hard for me to shut it off and let go.

When it comes to this condition manifesting in my job, it’s actually served me pretty well. I have taken an entry level job at one of the most well-known companies in the world and no college degree, and turned it into a role as a senior member of my team with a college degree and 2 additional two-year certifications to boot. All because I love my job and am obsessed with growing as much in it as I can.

When I was studying to become a digital animator, I would literally spend 5 hours a night and another 20 on weekends at my computer after work, honing my skills. Sometimes I’d get home at 7:00pm, and work until 3:00am, only realizing far too late that I was only going to get 4 hours of sleep that night.

So that kind of obsession is mostly¬†good. My wife and kids will sometimes tell you that the hours Dad works can suck, but otherwise it’s provided a great life for us.

When it comes to things like wanting a new gadget, car, or other similar non-essential item, I get obsessed with finding and buying it as soon as I’ve officially made up my mind to get it. There have been times where I have driven 3 hours for an iWatch that I could have easily waited 2 days to get in the mail, paying more in gas and final price, just to have it now. This is a good part of the reason why I am in the financial situation that I am right now.

When it comes to a videogame I love, I’ll spend hours, days and even weeks playing the game and attempting to master it. I would be scared sh*tless to ever add up the number of hours I’ve put into videogames, but I can at least partially justify it since I work in the videogame industry.

So that kind of obsession mostly¬†bad. Or at least that’s what my wife told me I had to say.Read More »